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Dmitri Karamazov’s challenge: “If there is no God, everything is permitted”

Abstract : The famous saying "If there is no God, everything is permitted" deserves more attention than the traditional reaction of philosophical despise against popular ethics. In this paper, we are going to pay attention to different versions of this saying. We are going to argue that it is not just to saying that it is not the case that God does not exist and that some deeds are prohibited. There is something more in the saying than what is suggested by the logical form of a material conditional. The first part of the paper deals with this additional content. In the second part, we are making an attempt to justify the famous saying. There are different ways of deriving morality from religion, and the one we will explore is the one which derives morality from natural religion, but not from revealed divine commands. We will try to show that the mere existence of God conceived as a creator provides us with a justification that some deeds are not permitted. So there might be normative states of affairs, that are not decreed by any supreme being, and that are nevertheless depending on his existence as a creator. To put it briefly: given God and the exercise of his creative power, there are some obligations, due to God, but not necessarily commanded by God.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-02976788
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 12:35:45 PM
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Paul Clavier. Dmitri Karamazov’s challenge: “If there is no God, everything is permitted”. Philosophical news, 2019. ⟨hal-02976788⟩

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